Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Big Fat Chicken



It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day, time to write about one of the current things making me crazy. If you haven't checked out the Insecure Writer's Support Group before, I highly recommend it! Everyone is so supportive, it's really quite amazing. Here's the link.

And here's my post:

I have a picture book manuscript that has been worked and reworked, a lot. Seriously, it is the best I can make it. I should be sending it out, but I haven't yet. My husband bugs me about it all the time. I have a dozen various excuses as to why I haven't done it. But the truth is I am a big, fat, chicken.

That's it. I'm a chicken. I'm scared to send it out and then somehow see all the things I should have changed before sending it out. I'm scared to send it out, wait months, get my hopes up when I see my SASE in the mail, then get crushed with a form rejection.

I know rejection is part of the game. I know I will get a lot of rejection, and I am okay with it, really I am. I just keep putting it off.

Ugh. Does anyone else feel this way? How do you get past it and get up the guts to just put the damn thing in the mail already?

35 comments:

  1. I think most writers feel this way, Rachel. I've only shared excerpts of my writing with friends and online contests, but I know that feeling. My finger hovers over the "Publish" or "Submit" button while fear of what others will think tries to stop me.

    Ultimately, you have to decide if you want to write for yourself, which is wonderful in itself, or do you want to write for others? Yes, rejection and/or criticism are part of the game, but so is praise and constructive advice. We have to be willing to grow as writers if we want to get better. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for this Suzie. I do enjoy writing for myself, but I would like to share it, too. And I am totally okay with criticism. :)I'm okay with rejection (as much as one can be.) I'm just not quite ready to face reality! :)

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  2. My advice is this: write another one and then another one and maybe another. Then send the first one out. Celebrate the day you put it in the mailbox or click the send button with something you love (like chocolate or pie or cookies). Celebrate the day you get the response regardless of whether it's acceptance or rejection. (Yes, I'm taking my own advice, and I'm packing on the pounds.)

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    1. I like the idea of celebrating responses, good or bad. :) Thanks!

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  3. You aren't the only one -- I've got two writer friends right now I'm kicking in the bum to get out there and query already. Shall I work on you next?

    Because really, you've just got to do it. I do suggest doing it in stages though - don't send out to everyone at once so you can keep hope alive when/if the first rejections come in, and maybe save your top one or two dream agents or publishers for a later stage - that way if you do start seeing things you wish you would've changed, you can change them before you send it to them. (Oh, by the way, I should note that I'm faaaar from an expert on this business.)

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    1. That's really interesting advice. Because, seriously, sending it out and then seeing more problems to be fixed is a big part of the fear. I will try that. Thanks!

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  4. I gave up on rejection a long time ago. I don't care anymore. I'll be going through the query process again this weekend. Hope I hold up and don't have a relapse!

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  5. I take the what's the worst that can happen approach. *When* I get rejected, am I suddenly less of a person? And if it's not the right story at the time, maybe it will be later. But I love writing, so I'm going to write. Great post - new follower :)

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  6. I follow Tasha's thinking. I just assume I will get rejected, but I can't get an agent if I don't try. I just try not to take it personally.

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  7. We all feel that way. Just jump in. You'll get rejected but maybe you won't. You'll never know if you don't try.

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  8. Remember the Nike slogan - Just Do It!
    If it's the best you can do, your critique partners dig it, then you can go for it knowing you gave it your all.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. :) This one has had a lot of eyes on it and I think it is the best it's gonna' get.

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  9. Like Alex says, Just do it!

    I have a published story that I KNOW I can write better, and in fact I did - for my own amusement, I rewrote the story. So, it maybe that you will always find small faults, but if you wait you'll never know if someone loves it just the way it is.

    Have a list of markets, so if you get a rejection you just move to the next in line.

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    1. That's funny that you rewrote it after. :)
      Thanks for the advice!

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  10. Sometimes we just need a big bowl of courage. When that fails, I suggest shutting the mind off and simply send out three. The worst that can happen is you get rejected or you catch a mistake afterwards, but at least you can look in the mirror and say to yourself, "I tried :)". The only failure is in not trying.

    Wishing you the best!

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  11. Please submit it. A dream withheld due to fear becomes a canker inside you. JK Rowling and Stephen King had numerous rejections. The quality of their work was suburb. It was the eye of agent or editor that could not see. Believe in your dream. Don't you want to say those same words to your children someday? How can you say those words to them when you did not yourself?

    I'm rooting for you, Roland

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    1. Thanks Roland, this is so encouraging. :)

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  12. Hi Rachel!
    I wandered by thanks to the IWSG :D
    We're all a bit chicken when we face the query roller coaster. That's ok. Fear keeps us humble and helps us slow down, pay attention. Rejection hurts, but you get tougher. And I hear that every rejection is one step closer to acceptance :D At least that's the sunshiney way of looking at things!

    Best of luck in getting that book out there :D
    Jen

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    1. Thanks, Jen. :) I'll try to remember that.

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  13. Oh yeah - I felt that! but then I got my first rejection and I have it framed, as this, to me, was my mark of becoming a 'real' writer!
    Good luck, and get it out there!
    Lx

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  14. Totally okay :) I hear the best authors "shelved" their own books for years before putting them out for the same reason. Hold on to it as long as you need to and then when you're ready it will feel that much sweeter because you had the confidence to do so!

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  15. I feel that way every time I start the query process. I have to brace myself for rejection. But you know what, it comes and I'm still ok. It's part of this gig. And the nice part is you learn from each rejection, and you get closer to where you want to be.

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  16. I know exactly how you feel, but you needn't worry about rejections, because you won't get any if you never send it! Get it ready, envelope it up, buy the stamp and then get your husband to post it for you. What have you got to lose?

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  17. Hi! Followed from over at IWSG! New follower, too! It's completely natural for us to fear rejection, but it's part of the business. You just have to put yourself (and ms!) out there. If you truly believe it's your best work, then by all means, send it. :)) If you ever want to collaborate about who to send Picture Books to, let me know. I've had mine out for a year now. One interested agent, but haven't heard from her since the first of Jan. There are several publishers who take unsolicited manuscripts and or queries.

    ~Candy

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    1. That would be amazing, thanks! I've been having a hard time finding agents that have any interest in picture books. If you have a chance, send me an email at rachelmarybean@yahoo.com. It may be easier to talk that way. :)
      Thanks again!

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  18. Great, I found you! Thank you so much for following me and sorry it took me a few days to return the favour - busy few days. :) Love your blog ;)I look forward to your future posts :)

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